Don’t let hooliganism return to stadiums
Hooliganism is once again rearing its ugly head in the Kenya Premier League (KPL), and drastic action must be taken to salvage the beautiful game. Football fans are returning to the stadiums and it would be sad to lose them because of chaos.
In the past two weeks, we have witnessed cases of hooliganism that left match officials with injuries. First it was AFC Leopards incited by an official who stormed the pitch at Machakos Stadium and attacked the referee for alleged bias during a match against Nzoia Sugar.
Then Gor Mahia fans vented their anger on match officials and security men after their team drew 1-1 against Mathare United at Kasarani. The two incidents cast a bad image on the two clubs, who should know better.
It is commendable that AFC Leopards have suspended Organising Secretary Timothy Lilumbi over the incident, and one hopes that the KPL disciplinary committee will take stern action against him if found guilty.
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As a senior club official, he ought to know better than storming the pitch to attack a referee.
Football Kenya Federation (FKF) must also take stern action against hooligans and the clubs. Two years ago, Gor Mahia were docked three points over hooliganism. Such actions should be consistently taken to deter bad behaviour.
Football thrives when fans flock the stadiums, prompting advertisers to dig deeper into their pockets, which translates into better paid players and successful football clubs. Let club managers control their supporters and avoid violence at all cost.
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Kenya Premier LeagueFootball fansHooliganismAFC Leopards